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Theatre InPlay, Inc. Sets Plans for Own Productions, Collaborations


InPlay, Inc., a theatrical producing company started in 1999, has re-emerged with a new commitment to its mission to create and maintain a climate of diversity in Kansas City's theatre community. InPlay now will not only produce its own productions, but will collaborate with other organizations to fulfill its mission.

InPlay's plans include a "By the Book" series: professionally performed staged readings. In the future, the company will also present "Black Box" performances: staged performances with minimal production values. InPlay is also planning a collaboration with KC MeltingPot to produce full stage productions. In addition, InPlay partnered with the Just Off Broadway Theatre Association to present the Just Off Broadway Internship Directing Workshop

InPlay's first production will be one of its "By the Book" series, a staged reading of William Shakespeare's Othello. Othello will run August 6 through August 9, 2015 in the Penn Valley Room of Just Off Broadway Theater. Just Off Broadway Theater is located at 3051 Central in Penn Valley Park, Kansas City, MO.

Involving themes of deception, jealousy, vengeance and race, Othello is one of Shakespeare's most lauded tragedies. In the play, Othello, a Moorish general of Venice, promotes Cassio as his lieutenant instead of Iago. Iago is furious at the presumed slight and vows to ruin Othello. When other plots fail to diminish the reputation of the good general, Iago plants seeds of doubt in Othello's mind about the faithfulness of his wife, Desdemona, leading to unthinkable tragedy.

Tickets are $15 and may be purchased by calling (816) 784-5020. Tickets may also be purchased at the door.

Othello is directed by Frances E. Farah. The cast includes: Othello, George Forbes; Iago, Lynn King; Desdemona, Laura Jacobs; Cassio, Dennis Jackson; Emilia, Claudia Copping; Roderigo, Brian Spurlock; Brabantia, Montana, Court, Jacqee Gafford; Duke, Ludovico, Court, Tim Burks; and Bianca, Clown, Court, Laura Irwin.

Performance dates and times for Othello are:

Thursday, August 6, 2015 at 7:30 pm

Friday, August 7, 2015 at 7:30 pm

Saturday, August 8, 2015 at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm

Sunday, August 9, 2015 at 2:00 pm

Director Fran Farah, who directed a full-stage production of Othello for InPlay at JOB in 2001, states that in some ways a staged reading is even more challenging to mount than a full production. "The playwright's words and the actors voices must captivate the audience immediately. A cast reading a play with conviction is closer to the roots of story-telling where one person engages his audience with no scenery, or all the 'bells and whistles' of costumes, lighting and special effects."

The second InPlay production is another "By the Book" staged reading entitled Missing You, Metropolis. Missing You, Metropolis was adapted from the poetry of Gary Jackson by: Tom Averill, Eric McHenry, Israel Wasserstein and Penny Weiner in collaboration with John Hunter and Lynn Wilson.

Through the evocative poetry of Gary Jackson, the comic book world blends into the tragedy of family loss, a friend's suicide and the loneliness of an African-American in Topeka. The production is co-directed by Penny Weiner and Jacqee Gafford and will be presented in the Penn Valley Room at Just Off Broadway from November 18 through November 22, 2015.

Future productions in 2016 will include a new play by InPlay's Artistic Director, Jacqee Gafford, a play by Frances E. Farah and Penny Weiner and a collaboration on A Soldier's Play by Charles Fuller with KC MeltingPot Theatre. As Jacqee explains, "Our missions dove-tail perfectly and such a partnership makes sense to both of us."

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